Komm Susser Tod 2 5 5

(15:54) <Minaplo> [The Battleship's hangars were built along the top and bottom of the vessel itself. Launch ports could lift Evas or Superheavies up onto a firing deck; alternatively it could ferry them onto a magnetic catapult launcher to propel down the length of the ship, launching them at top speed directly into battle. For obvious reasons this wasn't an option at current.-
(15:54) <Minaplo> [And of course, the bottom hangars had drop ports allowing Evas or Superheavies to be dropped freely onto a battlefield.-
(15:57) <Minaplo> [These hangars also had facilities to house more conventional craft. The bottom hangar, for example, was currently playing host to four colossal 'breaching torpedoes', craft slightly bigger than an Evangelion. They were stubby, fat boxes tipped with fusion cutters and positron drills, designed to punch through the heavy armoured shells of the Geofront or similar facilities.-
(15:57) <Minaplo> [They weren't the subtle tools of a raid or infiltration. they were big dumb hammers designed to unload an army.-
(15:59) <Minaplo> [Connecting the hangars was what people referred to as the Spinner Room: a wide round room radiating corridors like the spokes of a wheel, built at exactly the mid-point between every hangar. From the Spinner Room, one could access any hangar through staircases, ladders or elevators.-
(16:01) <Minaplo> [The Dorian had yet to leave Mars- there were 45 minutes to go before they entered dirac translation. The Spinner Room was thus a couldron of activity. Soldiers by the hundreds. AC Suits, towering over the gaggle. A boxy, unsubtle battletank carrying enough firepower to vaporise a city block.-
(16:05) <Minaplo> [Archibald could be seen poking out of the turret hatch, shouting something to an armoured James Riel, who was doing some sort of last-minute work on the turret's guns. He shouted something back, giving her an argumentative shrug of the shoulders.-
(16:08) <Minaplo> [Naturally, the Spinner Room was also where the Superheavy and Eva pilots congregated before the mission start, and where they said their goodbyes. Dispersed over a forty-metre area outside of one elevator were the pilots of Eagle Squadron. Pham, Edgar and Eva were watching Nataniel put on some long, physically involved one-person performance which left Edgar in tears of laughter and Pham covering her face in embarrassment.-
(16:13) <Minaplo> [Remy was crouched down, saying goodbye to an unlikely(?) wellwisher- little red-haired Eevi, who stared at him tremulously holding tightly onto a purring armoured lion cub. He was patting her on the head, saying something encouraging, his expression friendly.-
(16:16) <Minaplo> [Eagle Leader, Alex himself, had been pushed against a wall by Asuka, who was saying 'goodbye' via no-holds-barred makeout session. The other Eagles carefully didn't notice.-
(16:18) <Minaplo> [By a little alcove near an elevator on the other side of the room was Rei and Alphonse, talking quietly and warmly, Rei wearing Alphonse's biggest coat over her plugsuit. They weren't kissing, but the odd furtive glance towards the rest of the room suggested they were biding their time.-
(16:22) <Minaplo> [Near a large cargo elevator on the aft side of the room was Matthias Holmstrom, already inside his AC Suit, the front hatch open exposing the controls. Standing in front of it was Alexandrina Wales, who was staring up at him and holding up a long silver ribbon. Matthias was staring at it suspiciously.-
(16:24) <Minaplo> [Finally, there was Misato, standing near Raphael. Her coat was buttoned right up to her neck. There was no Suzie here- like most of the other civilians she had been loaded (kicking and screaming if need be) onto the Liberty Bell.-
(16:24) <Minaplo> ["I can't wait." Said Misato, rubbing her hands. "Warm tropical beaches, here I come~!"]
(16:40) <Raphael> "I'm sure that will be our first port of call." Raphael said.-
(16:40) <Raphael> In a move that had amused Suzie to no end, he had argued long and hard enough with his Medical to abandon his wheelchair in favour of the crutch he was now relying on for balance. Even in low-gravity this had reduced him to a slow, lopsided limp, but he was standing under his own power. Surely that was a step forward?-
(16:40) <Raphael> He was still heavily bandaged, though, with his leg splinted and his arm still confined to a limb mitten.-
(16:40) <Raphael> He smirked. "Or maybe they'll deploy you to Russia."
(16:42) <Minaplo> ["They better not." Said Misato, giving him a squinty little look which screwed up her nose. "What would I do in Russia, anyway? It's one of those crazy nations with more non-coastal stuff than coastal…"]
(16:48) <Raphael> "We seem to be able to make ships fly now."
(16:51) <Minaplo> ["No Russia." Said Misato flatly.-
(16:52) <Minaplo> ["Not unless… You're there to comfort me." Said Misato, suddenly beaming, pushing up against him as firmly as she dared. "It's the in-thing for Superheavy leaders- just look at Eagle Leader over there…"]
(17:01) * Raphael 's balance was precarious, which simply led to him being pressed gently back against the wall. Tactical genius at work. "Mmm." Raphael said, taking a glance at the indicated pair over Misato's shoulder. There was a pause. "… That seems more strenuous than comforting."
(17:07) <Minaplo> ["Nerves do wonders for one's libido, don't you know?"]
(17:09) <Raphael> "Do they now?"
(17:12) <Minaplo> ["Well, it seems to be doing the job for them, don't you think?"-
(17:13) <Minaplo> ["… Although that might not be nerves." Said Misato. "Knowing Asuka, it's probably more anger than anything. Alex lives dangerously."]
(17:19) <Raphael> "That much I can understand." Raphael said with a small frown.
(17:26) <Minaplo> [Misato bopped him on the shoulder gently with her forehead. "Try to relax, okay? I know you're frustrated, but… Look, it'll turn out fine, and you'll be back risking your life before you can blink."]
(17:30) * Raphael smiled and leaned forward, resting his weight against her. "I don't mind being safe for once. I mind being safe while everyone else is out there."
(17:33) <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I know." She said gently.-
(17:34) <Minaplo> ["…"-
(17:34) <Minaplo> ["I can't say for sure if it'll be ok for not, you know that. But in my gut I feel like it'll turn out alright. Can you trust my gut?"]
(17:37) * Raphael is quiet for a few seconds, enjoying the stillness and closeness in the otherwise busy hangar. "… I think I can do that."
(17:39) <Minaplo> ["Ok, good."-
(17:39) <Minaplo> [She pulled back a little, placing a hand on his cheek. She slowly reached up to kiss him…-
(17:40) <Minaplo> [A monstrous sound like a thunderclap cut through the air and the babble of the room. Misato nearly leapt out of her skin with fright.-
(17:44) <Minaplo> [Marching into the room through one of the corridor passages were Iron Guard, about twenty of them, arranged six-abreast, except for the front row, which was arranged three-abreast. Standing in the middle of the front row was a towering figure clad in gleaming golden armour, his helmet plate bearing the sculpted metal mask of some angelic statuesque figure, white gossamer wing-like ribbons flowing from the rear of the helmet. In his right hand he held a staff about eight feet long, made of a bright silver material etched with golden circuit-like filigree, terminating in an ornamental staff head that looked like eight angels' wings wrapped around each other. The golden figure wore a long ermine cape and seemed to glow with light…-
(17:45) <Minaplo> [The Iron Guard marched into the room, their footfalls falling in unison, deliberately designed to be as loud as possible. As they marched, they sang some deep-voiced battle song, the hairs of Raphael's neck prickling as he heard it.-
(17:46) <Minaplo> [The Iron Guard passed as quickly as they came, filing into a massive cargo elevator- but their passing had drawn everyone's attention and now the air was tense and uninviting.-
(17:46) <Minaplo> ["…" Misato let out a small, annoyed, shaky sigh. "Son of a bitch."]
(17:53) <Raphael> "… That was unnecessary." Raphael muttered in the direction of the elevator, shaking his head a little as he gave Misato a squeeze.
(17:53) <Minaplo> ["No kidding. They do love to show-off, don't they?" Muttered Misato.-
(17:55) <Minaplo> [("Phase One commencement in thirty minutes.") Came Macquarie's voice over the intercom. ("All hands move to battle stations.")-
(17:55) <Minaplo> ["…"-
(17:55) <Minaplo> [Misato let out another sigh, sucking on her teeth. "That's my cue."]
(18:04) <Raphael> "It is…" He murmurs, sighing.-
(18:04) <Raphael> … and then, in a moment of spontaneity, he places a hand on the back of her neck and pulls her into a long, deep kiss.
(18:06) <Minaplo> ["Mmf!"-
(18:07) <Minaplo> [It took her off-guard for a moment, but Misato quickly rallied, pushing against his lips just as hard, her arms wrapped around him.-
(18:08) <Minaplo> [They weren't the only ones- Rei and Alphonse had taken the opportunity to suddenly fall into an embrace and kiss, hoping no one would notice.-
(18:08) <Minaplo> [Alex had tried, instead, to pull away, only to find that Asuka's legs were entwined with his and he was now firmly stuck.-
(18:09) <Minaplo> [Matthias, meanwhile, had climbed out of his cockpit, albeit a little reluctantly, and was now kneeling down beside his hulking AC Suit whilst Alexandrina, face tight with concentration, tied the ribbon to his forearm.]
(18:13) <Raphael> It went on… well, probably for longer than either of them intended, but eventually Raphael pulled back, his cheeks red and his eyes alight.-
(18:13) <Raphael> "Excuse me." He said, resting his forehead against hers. "Nerves."
(18:14) <Minaplo> [Misato took a moment to catch her breath, but once that was done she was all smirk.-
(18:14) <Minaplo> ["Nerves, eh? Well." She closed her eyes and prodded him gently in the stomach. "Tell you what. If you behave yourself during the battle, then we'll do the rest when I get back."]
(18:15) <Raphael> "Find me some biogel and we can talk." He smiled, giving her a last quick peck.
(18:16) <Minaplo> ["Deal, but you'll want to save it for after, trust me." Said Misato with a grin.-
(18:17) <Minaplo> [She pulled away, now, adjusting her uniform slightly, standing to attention and giving him a salute. "Dismissed, General."]
(18:20) * Raphael returns the gesture a little more awkwardly, trying to keep his crutch in place. "Give them hell, ma'am."
(18:21) <Minaplo> ["Mmhmm~"-
(18:22) <Minaplo> [And with that and a final wave, Misato headed off towards Eagle Squadron, calling them all to her. They formed up in a rough semi-circle, Alex looking red-faced and relieved.-
(18:22) <Minaplo> [Asuka was there too; she said something, and Misato merely beamed and patted Asuka on the head.-
(18:31) <Minaplo> [Asuka folded her arms, looking irritated, whilst Misato and Eagle Squadron left through one of the elevators.-
(18:32) <Minaplo> [Other groups were starting to move away as well. With a final kiss and hug, Rei pulled away from Alphonse and through a door heading to the Eva bay. Alphonse stared after her for awhile… He then walked over to Eevi, took the little girl's hand firmly in his own and left.-
(18:34) <Minaplo> [Matthias climbed back in his AC Suit. The front hatch closed, and the AC walked onto an elevator with several other similarly-sized suits. Its thick right arm waved to Lexie as the elevator doors closed. Lexie watched impassively, returning the wave with a small one of her own.-
(18:35) <Minaplo> [Archibald shouted James down and, with great reluctance, he climbed back into the tank, which soon rumbled onto the cargo elevator that had held the Iron Guard.-
(18:35) <Minaplo> [The crowds were thinning rapidly…]
(18:47) * Raphael stared at the floor for a moment with a stare that suggested he held it responsible for his problems, but it was a gesture that seemed to quickly lose its appeal. Breathing out another sigh he squared his shoulders and began hobbling for the exit - he seemed to be following the path Alphonse and Eevi took, but given their differing speeds they were out of sight long before he made
(18:47) * Raphael it to the door.
(19:28) <Minaplo> [Fortunately for Raphael, he hadn't gone unnoticed. Unfortunately for Raphael, it was Asuka's eye he'd caught.-
(19:29) <Minaplo> [She'd started for the door then, halfway there, had seen Raphael. For whatever reason she had then turned to head directly towards him.-
(19:29) <Minaplo> [And there she was, about half a metre away, arms folded, looking at him with a cool expression, arms folded. "So you're stuck here too, Walking Dead?"]
(19:38) <Raphael> "Funny." Raphael said, coming to a stop not far away. He took in that expression with a hint of wariness. "But yes, Dr. Tenma's… very definite orders."
(19:38) <Minaplo> ["That's strange. I would've thought he would've banned Eagle Squadron too, then." Said Asuka, her eye narrowed with thought.-
(19:39) <Minaplo> ["… I mean, if I were head of medical, I'd ban people from getting inside a Deathtrap Titan too~"]
(19:42) <Raphael> "Very novel, ma'am." Raphael said, avoiding the urge to roll his eyes as he started to move towards the door again.
(19:44) <Minaplo> ["Another friend made." Said someone- if Raphael turned around he'd see Alexandrina standing there, looking at Asuka. Her face was impassive, but her eyes were quite cold.-
(19:44) <Minaplo> ["Pfft." Asuka shrugged. "Raphael and I are old buddies. Isn't that true? Tell her it's true."]
(19:50) * Raphael had, naturally, slowed down again to get a look at the emerging scene. "It's fine, Princess." Raphael said with a small smile. "I don't take it seriously."
(19:51) <Minaplo> ["Who could?" Said Lexie airily, walking over to fall in with Raphael's own pace.-
(19:52) <Minaplo> ["…" Asuka gritted her teeth for a second, then shrugged it off, smirking. "Someone's mouthy today. Who pissed in your whale stew?"-
(19:52) <Minaplo> ["Ugh."]
(19:56) <Raphael> "No need for that." Raphael said, his breathing a little rougher now that he's trying to move. "None of us are too happy to be stuck here, I'm sure."
(19:57) <Minaplo> ["Quite." Said Lexie. "I worry my Evangelion abilities have gone rusty."-
(19:59) <Minaplo> ["Don't worry about it." Said Asuka, taking the space on Raphael's other side. "Eva skills don't really go 'rusty', you know. There's too much neurology tied up in it. If you lose Eva skills, then you should get a brain scan because something's broken."-
(19:59) <Minaplo> ["Oh. That's encouraging. I was under the impression they fade with time."-
(20:00) <Minaplo> ["It's not like riding a bicycle, you know." Said Asuka, shaking her head.-
(20:01) <Minaplo> [She looked down at Raphael's leg, and offered an arm. "Need some help?"]
(20:07) * Raphael glanced over at her and shook his head, a few beads of sweat standing out on his brow. "Thank you, but I'll be alright. Just need to get the hang of it."
(20:10) <Minaplo> ["Suit yourself. One bit of advice though: be sitting down in half an hour."]
(20:13) <Raphael> "Definitely." He chuckled, before setting his eyes forward again.-
(20:13) <Raphael> "Wouldn't have expected to say this, but I'm ready to be away from Mars."
(20:15) <Minaplo> ["Yep." Said Asuka. "Who isn't at this point? I'm ready for actual sunlight again."-
(20:15) <Minaplo> ["Proper food." Said Lexie quietly.-
(20:16) <Minaplo> ["The wind!" Said Asuka. "Grass and shit!"-
(20:16) <Minaplo> ["Animals…"-
(20:18) <Minaplo> ["Still, I'm sure you're not all tired of it." Said Asuka slyly, eying Raphael. "I bet you and Misato've worn the 'body heat' excuse through at this point~"]
(20:21) <Raphael> "… Asuka, I saw you with Captain Fontaine back there."
(20:22) <Minaplo> ["What's your point?" Said Asuka.]
(20:23) <Raphael> "Glass houses."
(20:24) <Minaplo> ["Geez, it wasn't a criticism." Said Asuka, sighing. She ran a hand through her long hair.-
(20:26) <Minaplo> [Lexie pinched the bridge of her nose. "If we want to be sitting, then let's go to the cafeteria."]
(17:41) <Raphael> [20:38] * Raphael couldn't exactly mimic the gesture, but it's clear he wants to. "Yes, let's."
(17:58) <Minaplo> [The cafeteria was mostly empty. Several tables were occupied of course by various crews, teams and squads. There was a table full of techies Raphael vaguely recognised; over by the bar were several medics catching a quick drink. A squad of Iron Guard were sitting around three tables, making enough noise for fifty people as they laughed, joked and made the odd threat to each other. On the wall above them sat a television someone had haphazardly installed, currently showing some romance movie.-
(17:59) <Minaplo> [Behind the bar itself was Mr. Blue, of course.]
(18:04) * Raphael was sweating more profusely by this point, and though he had waved off further offers to help (If they had occured) he wasted no time lowering himself into a chair at one of the nearest empty tables. He let out a huff of breath and wiped his brow clean with his sleeve.
(18:08) <Minaplo> [Asuka flopped down into the seat next to him, leaning back and placing her bare feet up on the table top. Lexie lowered herself onto the seat to Raphael's right, eyeing Asuka's feet with distaste.-
(18:08) <Minaplo> [It didn't take long for them to draw attention.-
(18:10) <Minaplo> ["Well!" Said Blue, gliding over to their table. "Now isn't this a curious sight? You all back from waving our noble soldiery off to war and death?"]
(18:24) <Raphael> "If that's the way you want to put it." Raphael managed, his breathing beginning to level out now that he was off his feet. "Is there any chance I could get some water please, Blue?"
(18:24) <Minaplo> ["Sure, I got water. I also got some beer. You don't want beer?"]
(18:25) <Raphael> "Water first, I think."
(18:26) <Minaplo> ["Water it is. You don't want anything else?"]
(18:28) * Raphael shakes his head. "Not at the moment. Princess Wales, Asuka, would you…?"
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["Water." Said Lexie.-
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["Beer." Said Asuka. "Wait, what kind of beer?"-
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["American beer."-
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["Water." Said Asuka, scowling.-
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["Is that a request or a description?" Asked Blue.-
(18:29) <Minaplo> ["Yes."-
(18:30) <Minaplo> [Blue shrugged. "Three waters, then. That all? No food? How about a backrub?" He asked, clapping his hands on Raphael's shoulders. "You feel tense."]
(18:35) <Raphael> "Blue…" Raphael muttered, rubbing his eyes. "Don't be difficult."
(18:37) <Minaplo> ["I'm not being difficult. Whenever you want to think about how difficult I've been, truly been, to you, I want you to close your eyes and picture John Brown's face back in Singapore."]
(18:39) * Raphael grunted. "Varying degrees of difficulty."
(18:42) <Minaplo> [Mr. Blue snickered, and removed his hands.-
(18:42) <Minaplo> ["Do you ladies need a backrub?"-
(18:42) <Minaplo> ["No thank you." Said Lexie firmly. Asuka simply gave him dismissive shooing wave.-
(18:42) <Minaplo> ["Tough crowd." Said Blue, shrugging his shoulders airily before walking back to get them their waters.-
(18:44) <Minaplo> ["Is he always so irritating towards you?" Asked Lexie to Raphael.]
(18:44) <Raphael> "Oh yes." Raphael snorted. "I think he gets bored."
(18:49) <Minaplo> ["Wouldn't you?" Said Asuka.]
(18:53) <Raphael> "What, working here?"
(19:14) <Minaplo> ["Sure."]
(21:23) * Raphael shrugged. "I certainly see how you could. I think I could get used to it if our circumstances were different, though."
(21:24) <Minaplo> ["Different how?"]
(21:25) <Raphael> "If everyone I knew and loved wasn't up to their necks in a world war, for example."
(21:36) <Minaplo> ["Well what would you rather do then?"]
(21:38) * Raphael fell silent, rapping his knuckles against the table as he looked towards the bar. "… I don't know, but I think I'd like the chance to find out. Wouldn't you, ma'am?"
(21:43) <Minaplo> ["You know, I kinda wonder about that." Said Asuka, folding her arms.]
(21:46) <Raphael> "Ah?"
(21:53) * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(21:57) <Minaplo> ["I dunno." Asuka shrugged. "I've never lived in any time -but- one that's either been at war or preparing for war. Wondering where I fit in when that ends."]
(22:03) * Raphael nodded. "It's a common problem amongst soldiers, but we have the advantage of having a before. I can't say it's an easy process for anyone, but just starting to have those different experiences might be a good first step.
(22:04) <Raphael> «"*»
(22:08) <Minaplo> ["To my eyes, the answer's simple." Said Alexandrina. "We'll still need a military. We'll still be using the Evangelions. Just stay your course."]
(22:09) <Raphael> "Yes, there is certainly that." Raphael agrees. "I just assumed Asuka was looking for other options."
(22:09) <Raphael> «Agreed*»
(22:10) <Minaplo> ["Well, I mean…" Asuka huffed. "Sure, I could just stick with that like you say, but I've just never had options at all."-
(22:10) <Minaplo> [She sighed. "This sounds like some crap Alex would go on about…"]
(22:16) * Raphael laughed, leaning back in his chair as he straightens his injured leg with a little effort. "You're right to think about it, ma'am. Even if you do decide to stay with the military, it should be a choice and not an assumption."-
(22:16) <Raphael> "Does Captain Fontaine have any ideas?"
(22:20) <Minaplo> ["Does he ever not?" Said Asuka. "He floated the idea of 'professional athlete'…"]
(22:24) <Raphael> "Did he? In any particular field?"
(22:28) <Minaplo> ["Anything that relies on speed and technique, obviously~"-
(22:28) <Minaplo> [Lexie rolled her eyes.-
(22:29) <Minaplo> ["But specifically he suggested cool ones, you know, like kendo or mixed martial arts or judo…"-
(22:29) <Minaplo> [Lexie had now graduated to rubbing her temples.]
(22:36) * Raphael had largely succeded in restraining himself to smirking. "Well, it's good that he has ideas. I was under the impression he'd been working in science and technical fields until the Auxiliary divisions opened up, though?"
(22:39) <Minaplo> ["Yeah, and from what he's said he'll keep on doing it. That or politics." Said Asuka. "The athlete idea was for me."]
(22:43) <Raphael> "Oh! I misunderstood, I'm sorry." Raphael said, smiling awkwardly. "… I admit, I could see you in mixed martial arts easily enough."
(22:51) <Minaplo> ["I know, right? Kicking butt, taking names…"-
(22:51) <Minaplo> ["But enough about me." Said Blue sleekly, sliding into the conversation. "Here's your 'order'."]
(22:55) <Raphael> "Thank you, Blue." Raphael said as he shook his head amusedly at Asuka. He was quick to grab his own glass, taking greedy mouthfuls of water.
(22:58) <Minaplo> ["Thank you very much." Said Lexie, taking her own glass.-
(22:59) <Minaplo> ["Yeah, yeah, thanks." Asuka pointed at the table, and Blue grudgingly placed it down.-
(22:59) <Minaplo> ["So it sounds like you're all discussing how to apply the sweet fruit of civilian life to a child soldier." Said Blue slyly. "Do you want some help?"]
(23:01) * Raphael paused, giving Blue an appraising look over the edge of his glass before looking towards the other two. "… I wouldn't mind, at least."
(23:05) <Minaplo> ["I guess." Muttered Asuka.-
(23:06) <Minaplo> ["The first rule of Mr Blue's school of de-soldiering the child soldier is this: learn a constructive skill." Said Blue. "Like I have tailoring. Sure, it's useful, but the feelin' of creatin' something with your own two hands, y'know, and then selling that shit off… It helps get all the murder-juices out of your thinky-meats, if you know what I mean."-
(23:08) <Minaplo> ["Pfft. I've got you beat there." Said Asuka, smirking. "You may all be surprised to know that I'm actually pretty good at making weapons. Metal, stone… When Sera and all that went to Skald Island, they found some of my crap, good as new."-
(23:08) <Minaplo> ["That doesn't count." Said Lexie, taking a sip from her glass.-
(23:08) <Minaplo> ["Why not?"-
(23:10) <Minaplo> ["Because you're just making weapons- that's not really a constructive skill, it's tied into the greater backdrop of war, fighting…" Said Lexie.-
(23:10) <Minaplo> ["Hrm…"-
(23:11) <Minaplo> ["Actually, if that's your first thought, I kind of wonder if you have any skills at all that aren't about killing or wrecking." Said Lexie with a small chuckle. She took a gulp of water.-
(23:12) <Minaplo> ["…" Asuka opened her mouth to reply, but she couldn't quite bring herself to speak. She was still for a moment, her mouth still hanging open slightly, before she looked down at her glass of water. She blinked rapidly as though trying to get dust out of her eye.]
(23:28) <Raphael> The look Raphael sends Lexie's way is icy cold and more than a little angry, but he pays her only momentary attention before turning his attention to Asuka. He seems ready to reach out - to lay a hand on her shoulder, something - but something seems to hold him back.-
(23:28) <Raphael> "Absolute nonsense." He says dismissively, forcing a smile. "Misato's mentioned that you have some training in physics, Asuka? Is that right?"
(23:31) <Minaplo> [Lexie only caught the tail end of Raphael's look- she seemed baffled by his response.-
(23:33) <Minaplo> ["Huh?" Mumbled Asuka, looking up- then away slightly. "Um, yeah. After I became a pilot I had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the AT Field, so Tech in Berlin ran me through a physics class to try to help me handle it. It helped, I guess. Got the degree and everything."]
(23:39) <Raphael> "Well that's another skill, if it's something that interests you. Maybe not hands-on like the metalworking, but I believe it counts." Raphael said. "And having a physics degree at your age is fairly impressive, if you don't mind me saying so."
(23:43) <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I guess so. Even if everyone acts surprised when I actually use it." Muttered Asuka, her tone angry and a little hurt.]
(23:53) * Raphael gave Blue a quick look, frowning a little. "Surprising someone isn't a bad thing, ma'am. It just shows there's more to you than meets the eye."
(23:56) <Minaplo> ["That's different." Said Asuka sullenly. "Like, if it turned out that you made paper cranes, that'd be surprising, sure. But when I come up with ideas, they all act surprised, which shows that they don't see me as someone who thinks a lot. That's…"-
(23:59) <Minaplo> ["When we first crashed on Mars, I was the one who came up with the idea to use an AT Field to filter the atmosphere into something breathable, and de Pteres goes on as though it's this big shocking thing… As though he's some sort of brianiac as opposed to a dork who can't walk into a room without pissing someone off."-
(23:59) <Minaplo> ["Ah, well, that's Sera for you." Said Blue. "I-"-
Session Time: Wed Apr 01 00:00:00 2015
(00:00) <Minaplo> [There was a shout from the bar, where an Iron Guard was standing. He began swearing at Blue in what sounded like Arabic. Blue swore back just as fiercely, and sullenly slunk back to the bar to take the Guard's no-doubt unsatisfying order.]
(00:05) <Raphael> "… not that I'm pleased to agree with him, but that does sound fairly typical of Pilot de Pteres." Raphael continued as Blue made his departure. "His empathy seems to… uh, come and go, to put it gently."
(00:10) <Minaplo> ["Matthias says he has a real disregard for authority." Said Lexie.]
(00:35) <Raphael> "And there's that." Raphael admitted, glancing over his shoulder as if to check if the pilot might have materialized behind him during his bout of gossip.-
(00:35) <Raphael> "Which is all to say that I wouldn't worry based on Sera, ma'am." Raphael said. "You're a direct young lady, and that probably tends to colour peoples impressions of you, but to be blunt that isn't your responsibility. So long as you're open, anyone willing to put in the effort can understand who you are - as Mr. Fontaine and Chancelor Zhang have. If they aren't… well, those people will
(00:35) <Raphael> fail to understand more than just you."
(00:41) <Minaplo> ["That seems to fit the general description of de Pteres." Said Lexie.-
(00:45) <Minaplo> ["Hmm…" Asuka, her arms folded, seemed to consider this for a few seconds. "Yeah… Yeah, I guess it's true. It's not my problem…"]
(00:47) * Raphael nodded, taking a sip of water before continuing. "Quite. My advice would be to not let their misconceptions define your boundaries."
(00:50) <Minaplo> ["You sound like Matthias when you say that." Said Lexie brightly.-
(00:50) <Minaplo> ["Pff." Snorted Asuka. "No, though, you have a point…"]
(00:51) <Raphael> "I will take that as a compliment, Princess." Raphael said with a smile.
(00:54) <Minaplo> [There was a lull.-
(00:54) <Minaplo> ["Speaking of Matthias-" began Asuka.-
(00:54) <Minaplo> ["Oh no-"-
(00:55) <Minaplo> ["I saw you tying that little ribbon to his arm~"-
(00:55) <Minaplo> ["I'm surprised you could see anything, considering you were glued to Fontaine's face."]
(00:57) * Raphael stifled a snort of laughter, but failed to catch the smirk that came with it. He tried to cover this by reaching for his glass again.
(00:58) <Minaplo> ["Look at you, showing all your envious little feathers~" Crowed Asuka.-
(00:59) <Minaplo> ["Envy? I beg your pardon, but Fontaine holds no appeal to me." Said Lexie loftily.-
(00:59) <Minaplo> ["Please, that's totally not what I meant. You just wish you had the guts to kiss Matthias in public~"-
(00:59) <Minaplo> ["Ridiculous." Said Lexie irritably.]
(01:02) <Raphael> "Let the Princess be, Asuka." Raphael said as he finished the last of his water, his amusement now back under wraps.
(01:05) <Minaplo> ["C'mon. Surely you're curious…?"]
(01:08) * Raphael rolled his eyes. "I don't care for people being involved in my love life and I try to extend others the same courtesy."
(01:11) <Minaplo> ["Besides, there's nothing between Matthias and myself." Said Lexie. "He's a friend, nothing more. And even if he were moreso, I still wouldn't kiss him in public- but not out of fear."-
(01:11) <Minaplo> ["Oh, ouch. You're saying I should be ashamed or something?"-
(01:12) <Minaplo> ["I just think I'd prefer to send my lover off with words." Said Lexie. "It didn't look like the two of you were up to speaking… Not that Fontaine had much choice."-
(01:12) <Minaplo> ["Hey. We spoke. Of course we spoke." Said Asuka. She turned to Raphael. "Wanna hear what we said~?"]
(01:13) <Raphael> "… Not particularly."
(01:14) <Minaplo> ["Seconded." Said Lexie quickly.-
(01:14) <Minaplo> ["Mmf."-
(01:15) <Minaplo> [The chime of the shipwide intercom sounded. ("All hands be advised, we are commencing phase one of lift-off and translation procedures in five minutes…")]
(19:19) * Raphael took a deep breath, casually getting a better grip on the edge of their table with his working hand. "Well, here we go…"
(19:36) <Minaplo> [Lexie, with deliberate, careful movements, pulled herself out of her chair, down under the table and began to grip the central pole.-
(19:37) <Minaplo> [Asuka snorted at this, but even she pulled her legs back off the table and re-righted herself, holding on much like Raphael was. "Let's hope this thing flies and doesn't burst into flames or something…"]
(19:38) <Raphael> "Let's hope." Raphael agreed, glancing over to the bar to give Blue a short nod.
(19:39) <Minaplo> [Blue was standing casually by the bar, but secretly he was holding onto an internal railing quite tightly.-
(19:41) <Minaplo> [The atmosphere of the room had become tense and nervous, now. The Iron Guard had shut up. 'Waiters' (random staff who Blue remembered had a tab at his grill) started quickly grabbing glasses and plates off the tables and stacking them somewhere safe, locking the cutlery and glassware away firmly.-
(19:42) <Minaplo> [(One memorable night a week ago had seen Engineering restore brothergram functions to the cafeteria, which ended in disaster when the unreliable emitters caused the brothers to constantly flicker past 15 minutes of use, leading to nothing so much as wasted food and drink)-
(19:44) <Minaplo> […-
(19:44) <Minaplo> [After a few minutes, a hum began to throb through the hull of the vessel. Everything began vibrating ever so slightly…-
(19:45) <Minaplo> [("Phase one commencement in five, four, three, two, one, engage!")-
(19:46) <Minaplo> [The vibrating became more pronounced, now. The world around them shook, and everyone's grip tightened just a little…]
(19:50) * Raphael didn't quite have his eyes shut, but he kept his attention focused on the table, his breathing coming with a steadiness that could only be the result of concerted effort. Not that many were likely to notice right at that moment.
(19:58) <Minaplo> [The shaking intensified. It reached a crescendo of violence for a few seconds… Then suddenly seemed to stop.-
(19:58) <Minaplo> ["… Huh." Muttered Asuka. "Is that it?"-
(19:59) <Minaplo> [A second later, the entire cafeteria tilted backwards, the floor sitting at a 50 degree angle. The space to Raphael's left fell away towards the bar…-
(19:59) <Minaplo> [The chair shifted.-
(19:59) <Minaplo> [Then it slid, slid towards the bar, taking Raphael with it…!]
(20:12) <Raphael> … and one hand on the table and one foot on the floor proved to not be enough to hold him in place. He was tipped off his chair and sent rolling end over end towards the bar, managing to tuck his shoulder just enough to avoid cracking his skull or his neck as he struck the wood panelling. There was a loud crash as his chair struck the bar a short distance away, and it was quickly joined
(20:12) <Raphael> by others.
(20:16) <Minaplo> [One of which was Asuka's. Asuka herself remained clinging, however tenuously, to the table, her legs kicking out wildly trying to find purchase.-
(20:16) <Minaplo> [Lexie, her weight braced against the table pillar, was unmoved.-
(20:19) <Minaplo> [All around him, though, he saw other scenes of chaos. The Iron Guard fell, many of them gripping tightly onto their table- including a thin, pallid one with wide gaping eyes- but the combination of their strength and weight saw the table suddenly give way, sending all of them sliding, screaming, across the floor, smashing into two more tables and a dozen chairs on the way before smashing into the bar scant metres to Raphael's left.-
(20:19) <Minaplo> [The pallid Guard- Platypus something?- ended up being smashed to earth with his head about an inch from Raphael's left hand.-
(20:21) <Minaplo> [Grips weakened. Techies and crewmembers from all over the cafeteria began to slide toward the scrum. Other, cleverer techs began copying Lexie as best they could.-
(20:21) <Minaplo> [A sudden crumbling, then a -crack- followed by a deafening clatter.-
(20:22) <Minaplo> [The nymph statue's head had fallen off. It was now bouncing haphazardly towards Raphael.]
(20:32) * Raphael was operating on autopilot, three out of four limbs now radiating pain and the chance to complete the set picking up speed as it bounced towards him. With a shout that was part pain and part pure annoyance he managed to grip the edge of the bartop with one hand and awkwardly pull himself over, landing with a thud on the other side.
(20:34) <Minaplo> [And just in the nick of time- the nymph-head struck where he'd been. His chair was pulverised.-
(20:35) <Minaplo> [The head skipped up, hurtling into the air, where it hung, seeming to rotate in slow-motion. The face, nose now blunted and chipped, turned to face Raphael…-
(20:35) <Minaplo> [At this moment, two things happened. Firstly, the cafeteria righted itself.-
(20:37) <Minaplo> [Secondly, the Platypus leapt up and, fists curled in the air, spiked the nymph-head as though it were a volleyball. It demolished the nose, then sent the head skipping backwards across the cafeteria, where it only barely missed Lexie and her table (the sound of a terrified squeak high in the air) before bashing through the nymph's legs.-
(20:37) <Minaplo> [The statue teetered for a second- before falling backwards slowly, thundering into the ground with a heavy clap.-
(20:38) <Minaplo> [The room was silent.-
(20:38) <Minaplo> ["Yaaay!" Said the Platypus, grinning.]
(20:45) * Raphael groaned quietly from his place wedged below the bar shelves, his brain idly assessing the damage done to his already battered body. Considering those final few moments, it could have been worse.-
(20:46) <Raphael> "… Thank you." Raphael mumbled as he slowly tried to sit up as he glanced slowly to either side.
(21:01) <Minaplo> [Blue, who was nearby, was unharmed.-
(21:02) <Minaplo> ["Well." He muttered to himself, sounding harried. "Statue survives an angel dimension, a space ambush, a crash landing on mars, but one listing to the side and the head shoots off like a fucking wine cork. You dead yet, Gilly?"]
(21:06) <Raphael> "Not as far as I can tell." Raphael muttered, flexing his mittenless arm experimentally.-
(21:07) <Raphael> "… Pilots, are you alright?" He called.
(21:13) * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(21:14) <Minaplo> ["We're good." Said Asuka. "Lexie might've wet herself but she's good too."-
(21:14) <Minaplo> ["I-I did not. Like you didn't panic when that head came down!"]
(21:19) <Raphael> "I think we're airborne," Raphael said to Blue, "Judging from the way we righted… and the lack of a crash, I suppose."
(21:20) <Minaplo> ["Yeah, seems like." Said Blue. "Need a hand up?"]
(21:20) * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has joined #nervfrance
(21:21) <Raphael> "Please," He replied, offering Blue his hand.
(21:23) <Minaplo> [Blue took it. He made sure to lift Raphael gently.-
(21:24) <Minaplo> [Across the cafeteria, people were righting themselves and the damage. The Iron Guard had distangled themselves and were now trying, in vain, to balance the twisted, bent table back on its spot.-
(21:25) <Minaplo> ["Well if we're flying, then…" Mused Blue.-
(21:25) <Minaplo> [("All hands, prepare for Dirac Jaunt in 10!")]
[21:25] <Raphael> "Maybe I should have stayed on the ground," Raphael said thoughtfully.
(21:30) <Minaplo> ["A great idea." Said Blue. He was already lowering Raphael down. Gently. Hand on his back.]
(21:40) <Raphael> "Four pools and a holographic chess room and yet they don't fit their battleship with suitable safety harnesses…" Raphael muttered darkly as he lowered himself again and settled into a safer position under the front of the bar, mimicking some of Lexie's precautions.
(21:42) <Minaplo> ["Well, they never had belts on Star Trek, did they?"-
(21:42) <Minaplo> [("Entering Jaunt now!")-
(21:43) <Minaplo> [There was a moment of weightlessness…-
(21:43) <Minaplo> [Then a shuddering so violent that for a second it seemed as though the ship was being torn apart. There was the squeal of metal cutting metal. Coming from somewhere…-
(21:43) <Minaplo> […-
(21:43) <Minaplo> [("… Transition complete! Location: Ile-de-France!")-
(21:44) <Minaplo> [There was silence in the room- broken by some scattered cheering.-
(21:45) <Minaplo> [Raphael would feel the sudden weight on his body. Moving, if and when he tried it, was a chore that was that much harder. It was as though he were pulling his battered, injured body through a sea of treacle.-
(21:45) <Minaplo> [Even Blue seemed affected by it. "Fuck. I feel weak."]
(21:50) <Raphael> "That makes two of us." Raphael said as he tested his movement and found it distinctly lacking. For someone that was already having difficulty in low gravity, the extra degree of difficulty was startling.
(21:51) <Minaplo> ["Let's hope it doesn't fuck too much with our boots on the ground."-
(21:52) <Minaplo> [There was the sound of something metallic going -pop-.-
(21:53) <Minaplo> [The television, which had been haphazardly attached to the wall earlier, had been the exemplar of a rush job- a rush job that only passed muster in a third of earth's gravity. Without that 'cheat', it quickly tore itself off the wall, falling onto and smashing apart on the head and shoulders of an Iron Guard.-
(21:53) <Minaplo> ["Christ." Blue muttered. He slunk back down onto the floor next to Raphael, as though hiding. "This ain't exactly what a man thinks of when he pictures a heroic fuckin' return."]
(22:05) * Raphael laughed quietly, a sound that was part amusement and part relief. "Maybe not, but I'd take it over a failed one."
(20:50) <Minaplo> [The massive browned hand of an Iron Guard appeared on the lip of the bar, its owner pulling himself up. He was brown-skinned and bore the curious, decorative clothing that had quickly become associated with Yanmei's honour guard- this one had a vest adorned with long brown pinions. It was open. The cold of Mars hadn't bothered him.-
(20:50) <Minaplo> ["It is not yet a success nor a failure. It could still go poorly." He said seriously.-
(20:50) <Minaplo> ["And here's the joy brigade, here to ruin your day." Said Blue irritably to Raphael.]
(20:54) <Raphael> "I'm aware." Raphael said, a little irritated himself. "But our ship not tearing itself apart between Mars and Earth is something I'm allowed to be pleased by, I think."
(20:57) <Minaplo> ["Hmf."-
(20:58) <Minaplo> [The Guard stalked off, perhaps intending to ruin someone else's buzz.-
(20:59) <Minaplo> ["So, think they'll let us hide here 'til the battle's over and they bring back some booze?" Asked Blue.]
(21:05) <Raphael> With the Unfriendly Guard shooed away, Raphael had begun checking his injuries over for further damage. Sure enough, there was some blood leaking through the edges of his limb mitten where his stiches had torn. His leg was feeling less than perfect too…-
(21:06) <Raphael> "I'm not sure I'm able to go very far, personally."
(21:07) <Minaplo> ["Take you to Medical?"]
(21:10) * Raphael took a closer look, prodding gently at the mitten. "… No. It's nothing critical, and Medical will have more serious problems soon enough. Would you mind if I waited here, though?"
(21:12) <Minaplo> ["Ain't a prob."]
(21:15) * Raphael smiles halfheartedly. "Much appreciated. Now we just have to wait out the storm…"

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